Stan’s Soapbox – Marvel Age #105 (October 1991)

Hi, Heroes,

I hate to sound paranoid, but I think there’s a sinister plot afoot to drive me up the wall! Here’s why I say that –

Everyone knows I’ve got the world’s worst memory. In fact, I always try to write fast because I’m afraid I’ll forget what I wanted to say before I reach the end of a sentence! Well, every time I finally manage to remember something important, that something inevitably changes and I have to start remembering all over again!

And you may fax yourself a long-distance No-Prize if you can find a longer, more convoluted example of getting to the point of an article! In fact, it occurs to me that we haven’t reached the point yet! But here’s where we go for the gold – !

It took me months to remember how to spell the name of Jim Salicrup, who had edited MARVEL AGE MAGAZINE since its inception. Then, it took me even longer to remember how to pronounce Salicrup. You can probably guess what’s coming next. After I finally get it down pat, and after I reach the point where I can remember what he looks like so that I’ll recognize him at a comic-book con, what happens? Just what you’d expect! Jim has given up the editorship of MARVEL AGE MAGAZINE in order to take on some urgent new chores in the batty bullpen – and poor ol’ Stan has to start all over again trying to remember the name of the new editor!

And what better time to bid an affectionate farewell to Jaunty Jim, and to welcome Rollickin’ Renée Witterstaetter to the much-coveted editorialship of MARVEL AGE, the magazine that dares to be diabolical! Of course, there’s nothing particularly diabolical about Renée, though I may change my opinion if she decides to blue-pencil any of my meritorious monographs!

Renée by the way, found a Silver Surfer parody I had written about a zillion years ago and printed it in the #13 July issue of WHAT THE-?!, which she also edits. Well, to further demonstrate my memory, or lack of same, I happened to pick up WHAT THE-?! the other day and I started reading the first strip, entitled “Silver Burper.” Wouldja believe I found myself chuckling and grinning and totally enjoying it, to the extent that I turned to the credits to see what comedic genius had scripted it! Imagine my surprise at seeing my own name listed as author! I had totally forgotten writing the story!

But even a lunk-headed anecdote like that one can have a point to it. The point being – I once again realized that I’m not the least bit burdened with a troublesome identity problem. I’m still my very own biggest fan!

And, speaking of video cassettes (okay, I know we weren’t speaking of video cassettes, but a guy’s gotta segue into his next subject somehow!) didja notice how long THE PUNISHER had been on the list of top video rentals? It’s about time the poor guy got a break. His movie never made it to the theaters, for reasons which I’ll never understand – although it may be because some chowderhead forgot to have Dolph Lungren wear the good ol’ death’s head design on his shirt. But at least he became a major star in the video rental biz, as befits one of the best selling comic book titles this side of Alpha Centauri! If you haven’t yet seen it, and if you’re not allergic to gun-fire (I’ll bet they used up more ammo filming THE PUNISHER than they did in the whole Desert Storm campaign!) then I suggest you get your eager little paws on a tape and see what all the shootin’s about.

And for those of you who have been wondering why so many other comic book super heroes have sensational smash hits when they make it to the big screen, while melancholy Marvel has to be satisfied with the late, unlamented HOWARD THE DUCK, I say to thee: “Abandon not all hope, O True Believers! For as surely as night doth follow day, so shall mighty Marvel soon bring forth new glory and grandeur to theater marquees throughout the globe!”

Y’see, we’re not in hot and heavy negotiations with a mammoth melange of Hollywood producers who want to do big budget cinematic versions of our major heroes and heroines. My biggest frustration is the fact that I can’t tell you all the dazzling details until the contracts are finally signed, and it seems to take the army of lawyers who are working on them forever to do all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s”! But sooner or later the deal will reach fruition and then, just as we brought you the new Marvel Age of Comics lo those many years ago, we’ll soon be brining you the new Marvel Age of Movie Magnificence, or my name isn’t – isn’t – ? Drat! There goes that memory of mine again!

Now, before things wrap up, I just have to tell you that the whole batty Bullpen is sizzlin’ with excitement about the latest and greatest Marvel club, none other than the wondrous, wily, way-out collection of fearless, frantic, comic book fanatics known as WAM! (Wild Agents of Marvel!) As soon as the wraps are off and I’m freed from my awesome oath of eternal secrecy, I’ll clue you in to some of the absolutely astonishing gimmicks and surprises that WAM! Is offering – all kinds of skazzy stuff no other club would ever dream of doing, or, if they dreamed of it, they’d never dare to do it! But hey, it wouldn’t be Marvel if it wasn’t outrageous!

Well, it’s time for me to take a toad of tea, but no true WAMMER would ever leave without first reminding you: “De gustibus non est disputandum!” Otherwise, you might forget all about it!

Excelsior!

–Stan